CHEMISTRY: Colloidal Molecules and Beyond

Science  25 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5632, pp. 470-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087140

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For about a hundred years, colloids--particles a few micrometers or less in diameter--have been used as model systems for studying atoms and their interactions. Now, these model systems have been taken an important step further. In his Perspective, van Blaaderen highlights the report by Manoharan et al., who have developed a method for making large quantities of complex colloids that can serve as model systems for molecules. The new colloids each consist of 2 to 15 spherical particles and are made by drying the oil out of an oil-in-water emulsion containing spherical colloidal particles.